Funding Opportunities for Farmers
The Food Affordability Innovation Fund (FAI) is an up to $20M program which aims to improve the affordability of food in BC through targeted investments in supply chains, food system innovations and partnerships. Two programs will be delivered under this fund: the Small Food Processor Scale-Up Program (SFPS) and the Food Storage, Distribution and Retail Program (FSDR).
Program 1: The Food Storage, Distribution and Retail Program (FSDR) supports food system partnerships in BC to advance practices, processes, infrastructure, and collaborations that will strengthen and streamline food system logistics, storage, storage, and transportation and address supply chain bottlenecks.
Program 2: The Small Food Processor Scale-Up Program (SFPS) supports projects in BC’s diverse value-added food processing sector to scale-up operations to increase productivity, business opportunities, and competitiveness.
The Indigenous Food Security & Sovereignty (IFS) Grant provides non-repayable funding contributions to First Nation communities, Indigenous organizations, businesses, and entrepreneurs in British Columbia that want to participate in and receive financial supports to develop, expand, or strengthen their Indigenous food systems and innovation to enhance sustainability and growth of the Indigenous agriculture and food sovereignty.
Applicants can apply or will be placed in one of the funding streams below:
Stream 1 (funding cap: $150,000): provides funding for activities and costs associated with the planning and design phase of a food security project.
Eligible expenses include (not an all-inclusive list) feasibility studies and assessments, business planning, permaculture design, food production strategies, site analysis, community engagement, agriculture & food training etc.
Stream 2 (funding cap: $250,000): provides funding for activities and costs associated with the implementation of a food security project.
Eligible expenses include (not an all-inclusive list) start-up costs, capital contribution for construction, retrofits, equipment, community greenhouses, processing technologies, food cold storage, smoker/dehydration, freeze drying technologies, water infrastructure solutions, marketing, composting solutions, and other acquisitions to support the project and skills, training and capacity development directly related to food security project launch etc.
The Agricultural Water Infrastructure (AWI) Program is a three-year, up to $20M program, with funding by the Government of BC through the Ministry of Agriculture & Food. The program is delivered by IAF. Through the program, primary and Indigenous Producers, conservation groups, water purveyors and Indigenous Communities will have access to cost-shared funding to adapt to climate change by investing in water infrastructure.
STREAM 1: Improvement, rehabilitation, expansion, or new construction of water storage systems for farms (including agricultural dams)
STREAM 2: Improvement, Expansion or New Construction of Off-Farm Conveyance and Water Supply Systems to Farms
STREAM 3: Agricultural Water Supply Assessments, Engineering Studies, or Plans
The Fraser Valley Flood Mitigation Program supports flood resiliency for farmers and communities in the Fraser Valley. This program provides funding for community-scale projects that reduce flood risks for the broader community and support an increase their resiliency to floods and restore local ecosystems. Additionally, individual producers in the Fraser Valley can apply for flood mitigation activities to support their flood resiliency.
Stream 1: Mitigation Planning and Community Mitigation Projects
- Project Planning: Development of project proposals for the indicated area that addresses water management, flood resilience, and/or habitat conservation.
- Project Inception: Processes related to the creation and submission of documentation required for permitting or bids.
- Project Implementation: Projects that include, but are not limited to, crop selection / diversification, conservation covenants, floodwater mitigation (swales, berms, wetlands), floodgate / culvert improvements, embankment stabilization / naturalization, removal / redesign / replacement of infrastructure.
Stream 2: On-Farm Mitigation Projects
- Flood Mitigation-related activities eligible under the Extreme Weather Preparedness for Agriculture or Beneficial Management Practices Programs.
The Beneficial Management Practices (BMP) program is a complementary, on-farm cost-share incentive program to assist farm and ranch operations to mitigate some of the risks identified in the farm-specific Environmental Farm Plans (EFPs). The goal of the BMP program is to increase adoption of technology and practices to mitigate high-risk activities or emerging challenges.
There are over 70 categories of practices and actions eligible for cost-share funding through the Beneficial Management Practices Program. For over 17 years the program has helped place BC farms and ranches at the forefront of regenerative agriculture and climate adaptation.
There are BMPs which support farms to act on regenerative agriculture practices in areas such as: building soil fertility and health, increasing water percolation; water retention, and clean and safe water runoff, enhancing and conserving biodiversity on farms, capacity for self-renewal and resiliency through ecosystem health and sequestering carbon.
The Poultry Biosecurity Program was created to help the BC industry develop enhanced on-farm biosecurity programs and an emergency response program that can be immediately activated to prevent a detected outbreak from spreading.
Funding is available for projects that address the following key activity areas identified in the Poultry Industry Biosecurity/Emergency Response Strategic Plan:
- Implement enhanced bio-security protocols
- Develop an emergency response management plan that links to the provincial FADES plan
- Develop an effective and comprehensive risk management program
The Farmed Animal Disease Program (FAD) provides funding to the BC livestock and poultry industry to invest in planning, preparedness, prevention, and mitigation for federal or provincial regulated diseases or significant emerging farmed animal diseases.
The Farmed Animal Disease Program (FAD) is a three-year, up to $5M program funded by the Government of BC through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food (AF) and delivered by IAF.
The program provides up to $250,000 for planning projects, and up to $500,000 for preparedness, prevention and mitigation projects. All projects can begin on or after June 23, 2023 and continue for up to 24 months in duration. Retroactive approval of costs incurred prior to project approval will not be considered. All projects must be completed no later than March 31, 2026. Projects may/will receive compensation for up to 100% of their eligible costs.
The Food Processing Growth Fund (FPG) supports projects in BC’s diverse value-added food processing sector to scale up operations to increase productivity, business opportunities and competitiveness.
The fund provides support for established food processors’ scale-up needs, including new or improved equipment, physical infrastructure, specialized research and development expertise, product development, and new innovative processes and systems, business planning, resource training and technical expertise.
Projects may receive from $50K to $1M in cost-shared funding for infrastructure, equipment, and training projects, depending on their activities and budgets.
The Perennial Crop Renewal Program supports producers to remove unproductive, diseased, or unmarketable cultivars and to adopt growing systems that are better suited to environmental conditions and market demands.
The Perennial Crop Renewal Program (PCRP) is an up to $15M program funded by the Government of BC through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food (AF) and delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC (IAF).
The Extreme Weather Preparedness for Agriculture Program helps B.C. farmers and ranchers prepare for extreme weather events. The program will support up to $1.5 million in projects this year to help farmers conduct risk assessments and make infrastructure upgrades on their farms. Examples of eligible projects include:
- FireSmart Critical Infrastructures Assessments
- Farm building retrofits for wildfire preparedness
- Improved on-farm fuel storage and well protection for flood preparedness
- Reconfiguration of high-value feed storage for flood preparedness
- Farm building retrofits to improve cooling during extreme heat events
- Enhancing watering and shade to mitigate crop and livestock heat stress
- Infrastructure improvements to support tree and berry canopy cooling as well as shade and heat protection for harvested fruit, berry or vegetable crops
The AgriStability Program helps stabilize farm income by managing the risk of large income declines. Market disruptions, global uncertainty, drought conditions, floods and forest fires can all create financial challenges that affect your bottom line. The AgriStability program is based on the income and expenses of individual farms.
Beneficial Management Practices Program (BMP) – The Beneficial Management Practices Program (BMP) is funded by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The BMP Program is an on-farm cost-share incentive program to assist farm and ranch operations to mitigate some of the risks identified in the farm-specific Environmental Farm Plans (EFPs). To be eligible to apply you must have a valid EFP. Applications are currently being accepted and will close August 10th.
Eligible projects include:
- Waste management
- Air quality control
- Emissions control
- Soil and riparian integrity
- Water quality
- Environmental impacts
Food Business Refresh – free program to help rejuvenate small-scale food processors through virtual workshops, one-to-one coaching, and more. The program is currently full, join the waitlist.
The Livestock Tag Reader Rebate program is funded under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. This program provides cost-share funding for the implementation of livestock tag readers (hand-held or panel readers), reader installation, related software, and related equipment training.
Get youth working Province of BC – Grant – The Program offers Employment Counselling, Job Entry Skills, Certificate Training, Paid Work Experience, Mentoring and Post Job Placement Support to eligible youth 17-29 years of age. Employers that hire and train eligible youth and provide full-time sustainable employment are eligible for a negotiated Wage Subsidy incentive.
Go2HR Job Board – Job board – Go2HR has opened its tourism and hospitality-focused job board to include the agriculture and food processing sector. This provides a unique opportunity to connect interested tourism and hospitality employees with employment opportunities in agriculture. Producers and processors can post their job vacancies on the job board for free there.
B.C. Farm, Fish & Food Job Connector – Make a connection with the BC Farm, Fish and Food Job Connector which puts employers in touch with job seekers interested in agriculture, seafood and food processing careers.